Test the spirits

1 John 4:1-6   Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

In a world that’s full of so much spiritual talk, how can we know who to believe?  The truth is, a lot of Christians will believe anything that comes from someone claiming to be a Christian.  Just walk into a Christian bookstore and take a look around.  You’ll find books ranging all across the spectrum, many contradicting each other.  But how do we know what is right?

The Bible gives one criteria to follow when testing the spirits of the world.  Whether we’re listening to the philosophy of Oprah or Osteen, MacArthur or Bell, the one question is this:  Do they claim that Jesus is God who came in the flesh?  That’s the most important question.  People may disagree on some doctrines or on some practices, but the one thing that makes a belief system something other than Christianity is their view of Christ.

You’ll see some “denominations” in the world that sound very Christian yet deny that Jesus was God in the flesh.  Simply put, that means they’re not Christian.  Test the beliefs of any religious organization on this one thing.  If they deny Christ, flee and never return.  Jesus is God who came to earth as a man, shed His blood and gave His life for the forgiveness of sins, and then He resurrected from the dead and ascended back into heaven where He now reigns.  Upon that truth our entire existence revolves.  Without it, there is not hope.  Without that one belief, there is not Christianity.

Liked it? Take a second to support Matthew J. Cochran on Patreon!